Ghetto fears

A GROUP of Hamilton Hill residents is furious a social housing provider is pursuing a development in their street which was knocked back by Homeswest because of fears it would create a pocket of disadvantage.

Access Housing wants to build six two-bedroom apartments on Ivermey Road, backing onto Healy Lodge which already has 35 low-cost rooms available for men who would otherwise struggle to get a roof over their heads.

The locals reckon that’s over Homeswest’s cap of 10 per cent social housing.

Danielle Loizou-Lake says they’ve spent years getting their street to the point the kids know all the neighbours and are free to wander across and help in their gardens, and she worries that’ll be under threat with the new tenants.

Ms Loizou-Lake says the locals also worked hard with the managers of Healy Lodge to bring its anti-social behaviour under control, and after a couple of quiet years they’re loathe to add a new dynamic to the area.

• Ivermey Street residents fear a social housing project will create a “pocket of disadvantage” in their neighbourhood.

Housing minister Peter Tinley says Homeswest knocked back Access Housing’s appeal for funding for the project in 2015 after listening to residents’ complaints, but there’s not much he can do now.

“As Access Housing owns the land and property at 4 Ivermey Road, it may proceed with the redevelopment in accordance with local planning approvals,” Mr Tinley wrote to Ms Loizou-Lake early last month.

“The Housing Authority does not have a say in this decision.”

Roger and Ann Leung have lived in Ivermey Street for five years and say they don’t like the modern look of the development and fear the extra cars will ruin their quiet street.

“It’s two-storey-modern and it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the street,” Ms Leung says.

“They could make it more sedate-looking.”

The development was passed by Cockburn council in 2015 under planning rules imposed by the WA Planning Commission which allowed multi-residential developments in suburbs with relatively low zonings. But that approval lapses within months and the planning rules have since been rescinded by the WAPC after being roundly condemned.

Loren Bebich lives behind the proposed development, and says they seemed to have forgotten about her house when designing the project, as windows peer directly into her bedroom and bathroom. She’d sought special permission from Cockburn to keep her windows clear so she could enjoy her view.

Ms Bebich says she’d accept the proposal if Access Housing could guarantee tendants would only be aged pensioners or people with a disability, but she fears recent assurances that’ll be the case are only lip service.

At a Hamilton Hill Community Group meeting in July, Access Housing manager Duane Moroney denied the density was too high, saying it was similar to what was appearing across Perth. He said the organisation was prepared to work with Cockburn council to try and improve the look of the development.

by STEVE GRANT

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